The Anaheim Ducks' reward for finishing with the top record in the Western Conference was a matchup with the Dallas Stars, who weren't exactly an easy opponent. I mean, there weren't really any easy opponents in the West, but for what was technically an eight seed, Dallas was tough, and they proved that in this series, even if they did eventually lose.
Despite their impressive regular season, there were still a couple questions about the Ducks, although their biggest concern was that they didn't know which of there three good goalies would be the best. Early on, things went smoothly for Anaheim, as they won two games at home, albeit two one score games. Then, the series moved to Dallas, where the Stars won twice, and Fredrik Andersen got pulled in one of those games. He was back in for game five, another home win for the Ducks, and then also in game six, where he was pulled again for Hiller after letting in four goals on 12 shots. It looked like we were heading for a game seven, but then the Ducks, with Jonas Hiller in net, scored a last minute goal to tie the game, and then won in overtime to take the series in six.
So, probably get ready for Hiller in round two. They just need a goalie to be good, because their offense has been potent so far. Ryan Getzlaf had some injury problems, but he's still very good, and so is Corey Perry, and even some of their depth players got in on the fun. As long as the goaltending is sound, they can really make a run.
As for the Stars, they made this an intense, enjoyable series. They have some good young forwards, and a good goalie. They just got a new GM and a new coach, and they made the postseason in year one. I think they will be back next year, and maybe do more than just give the top seed a run for their money.
Get ready for an all California battle in round two, as Anaheim takes on either Los Angeles or San Jose. Probably San Jose. Unless things go really bad for the Sharks.